New poll: Most people in France are ‘happy’...but less so than in 2021

Happiness levels are still high, but those struggling financially are less content, amid rising worries over purchasing power, quality of life, climate change, and health

A photo of two slightly older people looking happy
People in France report relatively high levels of happiness, but optimism has dropped since last year. It also depends on income and political leaning
Published Last updated

The majority of people in France say they are happy, a new poll has found, despite worries over the climate and rising costs. However, fewer people say they feel optimistic now than in 2021.

The results were:

  • Happy: 68% (down 11 percentage points compared to October 2021)
  • Reasonably happy: 17% (up six points)
  • Not happy: 14% (up four points)

Financial struggles

Unsurprisingly, happiness levels vary considerably depending on income.

Of those who do not have to cut costs to make ends meet each month, 81% say they are happy. In comparison, for those who do struggle, only 54% say they are happy.

Managers are more likely to say they are happier (87%), compared to manual workers (62%) or professional employees (67%).

Worries over spending power

While the majority of respondents are still positive, the general level of optimism has dropped since 2021.

  • Confidence: 29% (down four percentage points)
  • Serenity: 28% (down four points)
  • Satisfaction: 27% (down seven)
  • Weariness: 45% (up four)
  • Nostalgia: 42% (up two)
  • Sadness: 34% (up seven)
  • Anger: 31% (up seven)
  • Fear: 26% (up seven)

This slight drop in optimism can be explained by rising worries about global issues. These include:

  • 91% say they are worried about their purchasing power decreasing over the next few months
  • 89% fear a drop in their quality of life due to rising costs
  • 85% are worried about climate change effects, such as flooding, natural disasters and a lack of water
  • 74% fear that their health will get worse due to pollution and environmental issues

Political leaning

Differences also exist depending on political allegiance. More than two thirds (77%) of people who voted for Emmanuel Macron in the most recent presidential elections say that things are “going well” for them personally.

This compares to 63% who voted for (left-wing) Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and 58% for (far-right) Marine Le Pen.

The study* was carried out by the Elabe institute for BFMTV.

*Study of 1,002 people representative of the population aged 18+, by age, gender, profession, adjusted for region and urban category. Online poll carried out on November 22-23, 2022.

Related articles

Where in France are people happiest - and what makes them happy?

Why, despite Covid, do many people in France report feeling happier?